Besser Deutsch - German online Lessons
Besser Deutsch - German online Lessons

Konjunktiv II: The most important rules at a glance

Do you want to speak and understand German better and more confidently? In private lessons with our native teachers you will make fast progress.

You will come across the Konjunktiv II very often in everyday life. In the German language, it is used for three areas. Especially when we want to be polite, we often use the Konjunktiv II. But you can also use the Konjunktiv II for irreal wishes, conditions and comparisons.

Confusing for all those learning German as a foreign language is the number of verbs in a sentence and in which order they have to be placed. In this article, we will show you how to correctly formulate irreal wishes and conditions in the present and in the past.

What are unreal wishes, conditions and comparisons?

Unreal conditions can be similar to daydreams. You think or talk about things that do not correspond to reality. In irreal conditions, both subordinate clauses are in the subjunctive II:

Wenn ich mehr Geld h├Ątte, w├╝rde ich mir einen Sportwagen kaufen.
Wenn die Kinder nicht so lange gespielt h├Ątten, h├Ątten sie den Bus nicht verpasst.

Sometimes we also use unreal comparative sentences. In this case, only the comparative clause is in the Konjunktiv II:

Peter sieht aus, als h├Ątte er seit einer Woche nicht geschlafen.
Die Kinder benehmen sich, als m├╝ssten sie noch einiges lernen.

Sentence structure for conditional sentences

Conditional sentences are called „Konditionals├Ątze“ or „Bedingungss├Ątze“ and consist of a main clause and a subordinate clause. The subordinate clause is introduced with words like „wenn“, „falls“ or „sofern“.

For example, you can ask someone:

Wann machst du deine Haus├╝bung?
Antwort: 
Wenn ich Lust dazu habe.
Oder als Konditionalsatz: 
Ich w├╝rde meine Haus├╝bung machen, wenn ich Lust dazu h├Ątte.
Oder umgekehrt: 
Wenn ich Lust dazu h├Ątte, w├╝rde ich meine Haus├╝bung machen.

So you can start the conditional sentence with the subordinate clause or with the main clause. You can also use modal verbs in conditional sentences. Let’s have a look at a table.

TempusNebensatzSatzendeHauptsatz
GegenwartWenn ich viel Geldgewinnen w├╝rde,w├╝rde ich mir einen Sportwagen kaufen
VergangenheitWenn ich viel Geldgewonnen h├Ątte,h├Ątte ich mir einen Sportwagen gekauft.
GegenwartWenn ich viel Geldgewinnen w├╝rde,k├Ânnte ich mir einen Sportwagen kaufen.
VergangenheitWenn ich viel Geldgewonnen h├Ątte,h├Ątte ich mir einen Sportwagen kaufen k├Ânnen.

You can also begin conditional sentences with the main clause. You can see how this works in this table. Note the position of the subject (Ich) in the main clause.

TempusHauptsatzNebensatzSatzende
GegenwartIch w├╝rde mir einen Sportwagen kaufen,wenn ich viel Geldgewinnen w├╝rde,
VergangenheitIch h├Ątte mir einen Sportwagen gekauft,wenn ich viel Geldgewonnen h├Ątte,
GegenwartIch k├Ânnte mir einen Sportwagen kaufen.wenn ich viel Geldgewinnen w├╝rde,
VergangenheitIch h├Ątte mir einen Sportwagen kaufen k├Ânnen,wenn ich viel Geldgewonnen h├Ątte,

Learn German with a native German teacher

Do you need help learning German for school, college or work or do you simply want to speak better German? With us you can learn online with our German teachers from the comfort of your home. You can find all information about our online language school here:

Related

Perfekt or Pr├Ąteritum? This is how you decide

Which is correct, or which sounds better? "Peter kaufte...

Konjunktiv II – Unreal wishes and comparisons

https://youtu.be/Ktz7Wov0ctI We use the Konjunktiv II not only for particularly...

Accusative or dative: These rules will help you

While the use of the nominative and genitive are...

When to use „in der“ and „in die“?

Many in Germany go "in die Kirche" on Sundays...

Popular

Online German Teacher: Prices and how to find the best

The German language is not easy. Whether you need...

Private Deutsch-Nachhilfe: So findest du den passenden Lehrer

Immer mehr Eltern suchen nach einem privaten Deutsch-Nachhilfe-Lehrer. Es...

Online Deutschlehrer: Preise und n├╝tzliche Tipps

Online-Unterricht wird immer beliebter. Kein Wunder, denn so sparst...

Online German Lessons: Prices and tips for choosing a teacher

Online German lessons are becoming more and more popular....

Online German Teacher: Prices and how to find the best

The German language is not easy. Whether you need to learn German for school, college or work, or simply want to become more confident...

Online German Lessons: Prices and tips for choosing a teacher

Online German lessons are becoming more and more popular. No wonder, because you save time and money. You don't have to travel to a...

Perfekt or Pr├Ąteritum? This is how you decide

Which is correct, or which sounds better? "Peter kaufte das Auto" or "Peter hat das Auto gekauft"? For many people, it is not always...

Konjunktiv II – Unreal wishes and comparisons

https://youtu.be/Ktz7Wov0ctI We use the Konjunktiv II not only for particularly polite formulations, but also for everything irreal. These can be simple wishes, comparisons or conditions....

Accusative or dative: These rules will help you

While the use of the nominative and genitive are relatively easy for most to understand, there is often a lot of confusion when it...

When to use „in der“ and „in die“?

Many in Germany go "in die Kirche" on Sundays and are then "in der Kirche" for about an hour. The fact that the article...